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Designers from Nine Countries Across the Americas are Chosen and

The Battery Conservancy invites the public to comment

New York, NY — The Battery Conservancy and NYC Parks announce today the TOP 50 Designs of The Battery Conservancy Americas “Draw Up A Chair” Design Competition with the launch of its Online Gallery at  The winning design will be fabricated for the public’s use in The Battery, New York City’s birthplace and original waterfront park.

The Top 50 come from 9 countries in the Americas: Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Costa Rica, Chile, Ecuador, El Salvador, Mexico, and the United States. 30% are students and 70% are professional designers.

The TOP 50 were selected by a world-renowned jury from an impressive 679 submissions.

“It is wonderful that more than 1,500 talented designers from 15 countries in North, Central and South America submitted designs for this unique international competition,” said NYC Parks Commissioner Veronica M. White. “We are proud to share the designs with the public to receive feedback since the chair is for all New Yorkers and visitors to use when they come to Battery Park. Special thanks to the team at The Battery Conservancy for moving this innovative project forward.”

“The Battery Conservancy created the competition to reinforce it our mission to foster design excellence and innovation in the public domain,” said Warrie Price, Founder and President of The Battery Conservancy.

The Battery Conservancy now invites the public to participate by commenting online and on-site in the park. The Online Design Gallery can be accessed at, where the public can comment on the TOP 50 designs and “LIKE” their favorites.

From May through October the public can view the TOP 50 designs on exhibition banners located near the Battery Green. The Battery receives over 6 million visitors a year with the highest volume during these months. Visitors to the park can express their opinions by texting (424) CHAIR-55.

The Battery Conservancy’s goal for the competition is to promote innovative industrial design use in public parks and to encourage a new design standard for outdoor seating. The Battery is committed to promoting the work of emerging and established designers through public interaction. The Battery Conservancy was impressed by quality of the 679 submissions and its online gallery has an option for the public to view ALL 679 designs.

In November 2013, the Finalists will be announced and full-scale prototypes of their designs will be developed by The Battery Conservancy. The winning design will be awarded US$10,000 cash prize, and the design will be fabricated for use on the Battery Green, now in construction.

The distinguished jurors are Paola Antonelli, Senior Curator, Architecture and Design, The Museum of Modern Art; Allison Arieff, design writer, The New York Times, Editor, The Urbanist; Fernando Campana and Humberto Campana, designers, Sao Paulo; Rob Forbes, Founder of Design Within Reach and CEO of Public Bikes; Mario Schjetnan, Co-Founder & Director of Mario Schjetnan/Grupo de Diseño Urbano, Mexico City.

Media partners for The Americas Design Competition include ARC Design, Arch Daily, Architect’s Newspaper, Core 77, Metropolis Magazine, Modern Magazine, Plataforma Arquitectura, Sotheby’s and Surface Magazine.




The design competition has three phases. The first phase is an open design competition. In the second phase, the jury will select Top Designs and Finalists, which will be featured online and on exhibition banners in the park. The Battery Conservancy will develop full scale prototypes of the Finalists’ Designs and has been invited by Design Miami/ to exhibit these prototypes. In the third phase, the winner(s) will be awarded a cash prize and their designs will go into fabrication for use in the new Battery Green, a 3-acre oval at the park’s Broadway entrance, scheduled to open in 2014.

Phase One: Competition Announced — Submissions Received (COMPLETED)
July 31 – November 19, 2012

Phase Two: Jury Selection of Top Designs — Exhibition of Top 50 Designs (IN PROGRESS)
December 2012 – December 2013

Phase Three: Finalists Selection and Prototype Development & Exhibition
November 2013 – April 2014

Phase Four: Jury Selection of Winner — Begin Fabrication
May 2014


Why a Moveable Chair?
As the great urban theorist William Holly Whyte discovered: “Chairs enlarge choice: to move into the sun, out of it, to make room for groups, move away from them. If you know you can move if you want to, you feel more comfortable staying put.” The Battery’s movable chairs will delight while they invite, animating the park and making it Downtown’s central meeting place.

Why a Design Competition?
It is an opportunity to excite and challenge the academic and professional industrial design communities to produce a new era in public outdoor furniture. It demonstrates The Battery Conservancy’s commitment to bring exceptional design into the daily lives of its visiting public. It is The Conservancy’s intent that the competition will inspire other cities throughout the Americas to do the same.

Why The Americas?
From Tierra del Fuego to Juneau, a burgeoning industrial design sector is emerging. The United States, as well as its neighbors to the north and south are recognizing the economic potential in growing a design culture. The Battery Conservancy’s competition will promote sustainable industrial design and the flow of cross-cultural commerce and ideas throughout the Americas.


For nearly two decades, The Battery Conservancy has worked to transform the park from masses of cracked asphalt to waves of perennial gardens. New York’s birthplace park is being rebuilt to support Downtown’s role as the epicenter of commerce, an emerging work/live community, and a major tourist destination. The Battery Green begins construction in 2012 as part of a $18M reconstruction of The Battery perimeter.